This is a follow up of "Striking (1)", since "interestingly" seems a more appropriate title. Poor me. My English is getting worse and worse, but anyway:
Someone who writes columns experiences a lot throughout the years.
Many of those experiences are a prey to oblivion but there are things that almost unconsciously be stored somewhere in the deepest recesses of your memory.
Very few fanciers can claim better results at short distance than father and son Boeckx. They live only 10 minutes away from me, and in the beginning of this century we agreed to trade birds. It was back in 2001 to be exact.
-He got a pigeon from me (line Home Alone and Ace Four) that bred for him a Provincial Ace. Looyschelder bought child of it and it became mother of a sensational winner that even became national Ace in Holland.
-From Boeckx I got a hen that became mother of 026 and 091, two full sisters. Both won races against many thousands of birds and once they won in the same race 1st and 3rd against 9,000 plus birds.
My "025" was the brother of "026" (bred from "Home Alone").
- Grandfather of a 1st NATIONAL winner from Jochems of Hasselt.
- Grandfather of a bird that was 2nd fastest of ALL Belgium from Montlucon 2015 (27.000 pigeons).
- Grandfather of a real Super from Ebben that won 2nd, 3rd and 4th NPO National.
- Jespers v d Wegen got a bird of the same bloodline. They called it "Fleur", a hen that was often described as the best I breeding hen from Belgium.
So both Boeckx and me were BOTH very successful with each other"s birds.
This was reason for us to cooperate again in 2014. Two of my best cocks were mated with 2 of his best hens, we shared the babies.
And the result was again kind of sensational.
- He got a bird that won 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd and 2nd in the sprint races. He called the bird 'Bas' and with these results it became 3rd National Ace KBDB.
- I got a super at Middle distance that became 3rd Ace in the Fed.
While others fail with birds that they bought for crazy prices, both Boeckx were happy with each other. We got supers by understanding each other.
Ant this was for free
What is so interesting about Boeckx?
Despite my many visits I never saw pigeons flying there.
When he releases them they are gone within seconds.
When they get back (after a long time) you better be fast or you do not see them enter the loft. They trap like hell.
Of course this is due to discipline and an amazing health.
Today losses of young birds are a nightmare for 90% of the fanciers here. And nobody understands. Those losses are a kind of mystery.
In my opinion there are several reasons and poor health is one of them.
Boeckx" birds are always in perfect health and he never loses pigeons.
The man never ever visits a vet and never ever medicates.
Does that explain the amazing health of his birds the whole year round?
Also Stickers Donckers is a 'short distance guy'.
Apart from his results he is known for two reasons:
-Unlike others he often goes on the road with his birds (Boeckx never does).
-And then there are his young bird lofts. In fact these are no lofts but a kind of aviary, that is open on all sides, with no space to shelter or spend the night.
About ventilation and other issues which mostly Germans and Dutch attach so much importance he does not care.
I know Germans who spent fortunes on improving the ventilation of their lofts. The birds of Stickers Donckers are as if it were outside, day and night.
There is another interesting thing about Germans. In the past there were many room auctions in Holland and in Belgium.
It was fun to attend them but buying the birds that we liked was something we could forget. Numerous Germans attended those auctions. Those guys were loaded with money and went home with the top birds.
And when you visited a Champion in the weekend there was a reasonable chance you found a 'fat' Mercedes with a German number plate in front of the house.
I always thought I was the first foreigner who visited Leo Heremans, but he corrected me: A German was there before me: Roeper was the name.
There are still so called room auctions. The internet has not wiped them all off the scene. But people wonder where the Germans have gone.
We do not see them anymore.
Are they back on earth because of all the "paper tigers" they bought because of their pedigree madness?
G V D WOUWER
My first visit to Gaston was at the time he had youngsters in abundance at 125 euros each. That was back in 2007, together with M Ku from Taiwan.
What struck me there was his young pigeon loft. Because it was so big and deep and still he had tame pigeons.
This is seldom the case in big lofts.
Also the efficiency in the breeding loft characterizes him as a pigeon expert.
Every nest box had a big number and all birds had a clip ring with a number.
All of them had different colours and each colour referred to a pair.
So, two pigeons each wearing a blue clipring? Those were a cock and a hen, so a pair and the number on the rings referred to the nextbox that was theirs.
Very handy when nearly all your birds are blue.
What struck me in the lofts of long distance Champ Jos Joosen were the drinkers.
It was shocking to see how dirty the water was. On the edges of the drinkers you saw a layer of filthy dust. The birds must be able to handle that, Jos claims.
And you know what was also shocking? The health of his birds.